Top 150 UK law firm Higgs & Sons has selected Tikit and NetDocuments as its first formal document management system after a two-year review of the market.
The Midlands-based law firm previously used standard Microsoft Windows file sharing but, led by IT director Adam Cutler, will now implement NetDocuments’ cloud platform as part of a 2017 initiative to adopt modern DMS technology for improved security, mobility, and end‐user productivity.
Higgs becomes one of the first ten top 200 UK firms to adopt NetDocuments. It follows in the footsteps of Farrer & Co; Winckworth Sherwood; Sackers; Keystone Law; Pitmans; Fenwick Elliott; Shulmans; and Glasgow law firm BTO Solicitors.
In terms of what it took to shift to a cloud-based DMS, Cutler, who started at Higgs & Sons in 2007 as systems applications manager and after a series of promotions was appointed as IT director in 2016, said that the ability to retain client files on site if necessary and to retain a fully synced copy of the firm’s data was critical to adoption.
“We’ve been looking at the market for a couple of years and looking at different providers as we’ve known we need a DMS solution for some time. If it had been more than two years ago it may have been hard to go with a cloud solution but in my time at the firm, I’ve noticed a sea change in attitudes that has helped. Three to four years ago it would have been ‘why are you putting your documents in the cloud’ and now it’s a case of ‘why would you not?’
“Geo-aware storage – where if the client is sensitive you can keep their data on site and push the rest of it into the cloud – gets around the sensitivities on where the data is and there’s also ndMirror, where you have the option to keep a fully synced copy of your data on site anyway,” Cutler said. “That was the final thing the partners liked. If it was just pure cloud it would have been a different conversation but the fact that you can turn it into a hybrid and keep a local file should the worst happen is useful and makes the conversation a lot easier.”
The 120-fee-earner, 40 partner firm has yet to decide how and when to broach the move with its clients. Cutler said: “We’re still discussing client engagement. The big question is whether people will care but if they are sensitive to the use of cloud DMS we can keep their data in house.”
Lloyd Ellison, sales director at Tikit said in a statement out today (18 September): “The NetDocuments’ native cloud platform and ‘single instance of software’ allows for seamless updates, built‐in mobility, inherent security and compliance, enterprise search, file and device synchronisation, as well as seamless Microsoft Office and Office 365 integrations. This, coupled with industry leading user adoption is driving the huge growth in wins for NetDocuments, both in new sites and swap outs globally.”